1 in 5 Supposedly Healthy Adults Have Pre-Diabetic Metabolism

In the United States, 20% of adults who have been deemed medically "healthy" may have a pre-diabetic glucose metabolism pattern.

Researchers at Klick Labs claim to have created a novel analytic technique that leverages data from continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) to identify impaired glucose homeostasis (IGH), a precursor to pre-diabetes, in a recent paper published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Digital Health.

"For people with diabetes, blood glucose levels can rise and fall like a wild roller-coaster ride with steep drops and peaks," says Jaycee Kaufman, the lead author and research scientist at Klick Labs.

"We found a similar pattern in patients with IGH, albeit those patterns were more like gentle waves than dramatic peaks, but intervention on this population could limit the likelihood of progression to full diabetes," adds Kaufman.

Impaired glucose homeostasis can indicate the body has trouble adequately controlling blood glucose levels. According to the researchers, they could recognize IGH patients using a novel mathematical model. They recruited 384 individuals and gave them CGMs.

The participants had a doctor's evaluation while wearing the CGM for two weeks. According to recommendations from the American Diabetes Association, the participants were either "healthy" or had been given diabetes or pre-diabetes diagnosis.

The study subjects were divided into two groups: those with inadequate glucose homeostasis and those with proper glucose homeostasis.

"What was most surprising is that 20 percent of participants, who were assessed using the standard screening tools for diabetes and cleared as healthy by a physician, were then found to have impaired glucose homeostasis — reinforcing it is now possible to provide an earlier, more accurate and sensitive assessment of people's diabetic status," says the Vice president of Klick Labs Yan Fossat in a statement.

This new method of analysis is a major step forward in the prevention and management of diabetes.

- Fossat

This innovation has the potential to significantly affect the lives of millions of individuals globally with its early identification and intervention, which are vital in the management of type 2 diabetes.

According to the CDC, about 96 million Americans have pre-diabetes, and 37.3 million have diabetes. More than 8.5 million individuals are thought to be still living without a diagnosis. Pre-diabetes affects nearly half of persons 65 and older, and it can be treated if caught early.

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